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Maintenance history behind aircraft

By Cpl. Rubin Tan | | July 13, 2012

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USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea – Everything has a story whether it is a Ma­rine, a flag or an aircraft. Marine Corps history is made on battlefields, on seas and in the skies.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 aviation maintenance administra­tion is tasked to be the keepers of maintenance history on every aircraft in the squadron.

Each aircraft has vol­umes of logs filled with maintenance reports which began at the testing phase before the aircraft was accepted by the De­partment of Defense.

The reports stay with the aircraft for the dura­tion of its lifespan. When aircraft are transferred to receiving squadrons, they provide better insight of the aircraft’s condition and readiness.

According to Gunnery Sgt. Kwan Cochrane, VMFA-251 aviation main­tenance administration chief, “The aircraft log books are a living, breath­ing record of maintenance completed, presently be­ing done and what will be fixed or replaced in the future.”

Periodic maintenance cycles are completed in phases to ensure parts are replaced before their lifespan expires. Each air­craft in the squadron can be on a different phase inspection depending on previous inspections and flight hours.

Maintenance administra­tive specialists have to cal­culate many variables such as flight hours, completed landings and component life expectancy to deter­mine when maintenance will begin.

Every phase inspection requires each section in the maintenance division to examine different air­craft parts, each section examines the components they perform maintenance on.

Maintenance admin­istration Marines verify maintenance using serial numbers to compare the condition of parts to what is recorded and to con­firm each shop correctly completes their assigned inspections.

Maintenance admin­istration specialists also work with Naval Aviation Logistics Command Man­agement Information Sys­tem, a computer program that digitally records and alerts users on mainte­nance tasks and history.

The system uses data scripting cards which are connected into aircraft during flights to record and transfer component conditions and flight hours. The information is then transferred into NALCMIS to update flight hours and essential main­tenance tasks.

“We are keepers of in­formation, tasked to en­sure maintenance is done correctly on our system and the digital logbook matches our physical books,” said Cochrane, a Baltimore native.

Whether pilots are flying combat operations over Afghanistan or conducting simulated combat scenari­os in Beaufort, a properly maintained aircraft log­book is required to ensure aircraft components are ready to fly.


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